Flats Happen

by DanWolgemuth on May 31, 2007

I was four miles from help when I had my first flat tire on my road bike. I had no spare parts and no tools to even attempt to repair the damage, and so I walked and pushed until a kind-hearted older man came to my rescue. That very day I purchased a tire repair kit that I placed it in a small pouch under the seat of my bike.

That was two years ago, and since that experience I’ve had eight more times to practice what I learned. That’s right, nine flat tires in two years. I can’t explain it. So instead of explanations, I’ve gotten really good at repairing and replacing my bike tube. I not only carry repair equipment, but a replacement tube, a special gas canister for rapid inflation, and an additional hand pump as well.

What immobilized me two years ago has now become a well practiced routine. I’m ready in attitude, equipment and confidence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not crazy about flat tires, but I’m no longer controlled by them. Preparation and practice have transformed a road block into a speed bump.

For the first three years of my road biking exploits, I ignored the possibility. I convinced myself that flats happened to careless people. “They probably had it coming,” I would tell myself. “They must have done something wrong, or they must not be doing something right.” My arrogance fueled my ignorance, and with it a false sense of righteousness and safety. But two years ago that changed.

I’m more humble today. I know that flats happen, even when I’m not careless or stupid. Sometimes there are thorns or spurs along the trail that you simply can’t see. The only way to avoid them is to avoid riding altogether, and that wouldn’t solve anything.

So turn me loose. I’m not only ready to ride, I’m ready to persevere. I’m not just okay when the tires are full, I know what to do when they’re not. And most importantly, I’m ready to help other people. People with flat tires. People that ran into problems simply because they rode the path.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ~ James 1:2-4

No longer immobilized. No longer prone to condemn. Nine times and “counting it all joy.”

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